Explaining away hallucinations (and God?)

Paul Vander Klay

Marta L.
January 10, 2013

Reading this, I was reminded of a great scene in the final Harry Potter book, where Harry and Dumbledore meet one last time after Voldemort kills Harry in the Forbidden Forest. At the end of their conversation, Harry asks Dumbledore whether this moment was real, or whether it was all in Harry's head. Dumbledore's answer: of course it's in his head - but why should that mean it's not real?

I think there's a deep truth in this comment. So many of us believe that in order to be "real" something must occupy some set of atoms outside our own body. But that doesn't seem right to me at all, especially when it comes to God. What kind of God could possibly be "outside" me, just one more part of the cosmos? That hardly seems a God worthy of the Christian description. This doesn't mean our religious hallucinations (if they are hallucinations) prove God exists; maybe all it proves is we <i>can't</i> prove anything here. But just because our reason for believing in God comes from our heads, that doesn't keep it from being real.

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